It’s difficult to overstate the power that corporate special interests like Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC) wield over Wisconsin’s governor, legislature, and Supreme Court.
We at Wisconsin Wave have been hard at work this year organizing a mass divestment campaign from WMC, the state’s largest and most powerful corporate lobbyist group - so here’s a sampling of what small business owners are saying about our WMC-Free Wisconsin campaign:
Very little is known about what’s called the John Doe 2. We know that a special prosecutor, former Republican federal prosecutor Francis Schmitz, is looking into the activities of some political groups during the Wisconsin recalls of 2011 and 2012.
Leaks to sympathetic media outlets indicate that John Doe 2 is focused on conservative groups such as Wisconsin Club for Growth, the Republican Governors Association, Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce and, perhaps most disturbingly, the Friends of Scott Walker.
Posing as volunteers. Stealing documents. Dumpster diving. Planting electronic bugs. Hacking computers. Tapping phones and voicemail. Planting false information. Trailing family members. Threatening reporters. Hiring cops, CIA officers and combat veterans to do all these dirty deeds—and counting on little pushback from law enforcement, mainstream media or Congress.
For those suffering from too much quality time with their families, the chain stores are poised to offer an escape by opening Thanksgiving Day. Before your dinner is digested, you can flee the table to vie for pole position at the big box entrance like Roman chariot drivers and prepare to do battle for one of those few really cheap “door-buster” flat-screens.
The campaign of Gov. Scott Walker, the Republican Party of Wisconsin and more than two dozen conservative political groups are the targets of a secret Milwaukee County probe, the Wall Street Journal is reporting.
The newspaper reported that “some 29” organizations were being targeted, and it quoted Eric O’Keefe, an official with Club for Growth Wisconsin, as saying his group was among them.
A slew of reports released Wednesday reveal that a network of conservative think tanks, funded by multinational corporations and industrialists — most notably Charles and David Koch — comprise a vast dark-money campaign funding mechanism that funnels cash to conservative candidates, including Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in last year’s recall election.
If the Wisconsin Supreme Court does not rule in Gov. Scott Walker’s favor by reinstating the entirety of Act 10, the governor’s signature law that restricts public sector collective bargaining, it's likely a small group of very wealthy people will feel ripped off.
The court is considering a ruling by a Dane County Circuit Court judge last year that key parts of the law were unconstitutional.
Last August hundreds of people from across the country convened in Madison, WI for the 2nd Democracy Convention. Made up of nine individual conferences, the Convention was an extraordinary space for individuals and organizations to network with and learn from one another in the service of building a larger, more dynamic democracy movement.
Don't expect Diane Ravitch to pull any punches when she takes the podium Nov. 14 at the Orpheum Theater. The former assistant secretary of education is on a mission to expose the threat she says privatization poses to our nation's public schools.
If the people of Wisconsin want to enjoy true democracy and shared prosperity in the 21st century, we must first do something about the corporate special interests that have hijacked our state government.
In December 2012, a pink-haired complex systems researcher named Brad Werner made his way through the throng of 24,000 earth and space scientists at the Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union, held annually in San Francisco. This year’s conference had some big-name participants, from Ed Stone of Nasa’s Voyager project, explaining a new milestone on the path to interstellar space, to the film-maker James Cameron, discussing his adventures in deep-sea submersibles.
Tom Still of the Wisconsin Technology Council, who wrote a recent guest column, should share why he’s endlessly apologizing for Gov. Scott Walker’s underperformance in creating the 250,000 jobs he campaigned on.
The recent admonishment of Walker and Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce by the Federal Reserve on misrepresentation of Federal Reserve statistics is telling.
In January 2009, Milwaukee area attorney Mark Thomsen donated $5,000 to a Wisconsin official's political campaign. Thomsen soon sent an additional $500 just eight days before the official cast a key vote on an insurance issue that greatly affected Thomsen and his clients.
The public official's vote was not in the state Assembly, or the state Senate. It was in the state's highest court.
When the Wisconsin Supreme Court decision came down in Thomsen's favor, the majority included the recipient of Thomsen's money: Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson.
Why is Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC) spending more than $800,000 to sell Wisconsinites that Scott Walker is a good Governor?
Scott Walker has greatly impacted Wisconsin’s human and natural resources. His attacks on women, working families, and public education are unparalleled in the history of Wisconsin. He has funded private education at the expense of public education.
Once known as a progressive state, Wisconsin is now deep into what might be called the post-progressive era. The poster boy for the new Gilded Age is home-improvement retailer John Menard, the 57th wealthiest American, according to the most recent Forbes 400 list.
There's an old adage that Americans should know well by now — tell a lie enough times and people will believe it's the truth.
Our largest state big business lobby — Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce — has obviously bought into that truism in spades. It is in the middle of a million-dollar TV advertising campaign, more than a year before the 2014 election, claiming that Gov. Scott Walker has done wonders for Wisconsin's economy and is creating thousands of jobs to boot.
To ask whether public banks would interfere with free markets assumes that we have free markets, which we don’t. Banking is heavily subsidized and is monopolized by Wall Street, which has effectively “bought” Congress. Banks have been bailed out by the government, when in a free market they would have gone bankrupt.
The campaign to "reform" schools by giving public money to private corporations is a distraction from our system's real problems: poverty and racial segregation.
Los Angeles has more charter schools than any other school district in the nation, and it's a very bad idea.
Billionaires like privately managed schools. Parents are lured with glittering promises of getting their kids a sure ticket to college. Politicians want to appear to be champions of "school reform" with charters.
Top officials with the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia are warning Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce and others that they are misusing a monthly index produced by its top economists.
Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce today replaced their spaceship Wisconsin ad with a more conventional paean to Scott Walker.
In the new offering — which since WMC recently purchased more than $400,000 in air time ($828,000 since Sept. 11) you're sure to see if you watch local news — job announcement headlines flash across the screen as a narrator says:
That's over and above our payments to the big companies for energy and food and housing and health care and all our tech devices. It's $6,000 that no family would have to pay if we truly lived in a competitive but well-regulated free-market economy.
Madison – Seventy-eight individuals and couples mostly from outside Wisconsin contributed nearly $1 million to legislative and statewide officeholders and candidates during the first six months of 2013, a Wisconsin Democracy Campaign review found.
This elite class of donors who contributed $10,000 or more is similar to “whales” – a gambling industry reference to an exclusive cache of wealthy high rollers who make big wagers and generally receive lavish comps from casinos to lure them back in the future.
A new survey of thousands of Wisconsin teachers found that nearly a third would “probably not” or “definitely not” choose the profession again, and 63 percent said they did not think the public appreciated the role teachers play in their children’s education.
Of the nearly 2,000 pre-K through 12th-grade teachers who took the Voices from the Classroom survey, 85 percent said they would like to see more interaction between the schools and the business community.
Gov. Scott Walker famously promised during his 2010 campaign that he would bring 250,000 new private-sector jobs to Wisconsin by the end of his term in 2014. How's he doing? We're keeping track with this database.
The graph below shows Wisconsin's jobs growth according to Current Employment Statistics seasonally adjusted data since then and how it compares to its neighboring states.
“We’ve found through our experience that timid supplications for justice will not solve the problem,” declared the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1967 as he announced the civil rights movement’s pivot toward the economic justice message of the Poor People’s Campaign. “We’ve got to massively confront the power structure."